Sunday, 9 September 2012

Creating fantasy characters

Kaplyn is my favourite character in the Prophecy of the Kings. He is the lead character and plays a pivotal role. However, he faces more than his fair share of adversity. At Vastra's behest, he gets trapped in a nightmare tower where he is trying to find an Eldric talisman. He is stubborn as shown when Vastra demands the talisman, but Kaplyn refuses to hand it over. Lars' support, although unspoken, is key at this point. Both men know that Vatsra is a sorcerer as he often brags about this. But having summoned the ancient city of Tanel, they know he is truly a power to be feared.

I take Kaplyn's character to the very pit of despair. Things go from bad to worse and he takes the souls trapped in the demon world on his shoulders and again his stubbornness rises to the fore when he takes it upon himself to rescue them. He is also brave, walking alone into Drishnack where, as part of a ritual, he is forced to touch a powerful kara-stone, which awakens the link with his shaol, Shastlan, a guardian spirit. He doesn't realise it, but his shaol is the spirit of a dead emperor who betrayed his own people, summoning dragons to his world.

Kaplyn is a strong character as he must continue his journey in the face of considerable adversity. Madness threatens when he lives Shastlan's life in his dreams. His fear of dragons has caused  him to flee CarCamel and Shastlan's memories cause him to doubt his sanity. Of all the characters I have created I feel sorry for Kaplyn. No man, real or otherwise, should ever suffer as much as Kaplyn.

That's the beauty of creating fantasy characters. You can play with their emotional state in a far deeper way than in reality. The enemy is clear cut - dark and brooding and must be killed. No one cares for the krell and grakyn that are killed. They are the enemy and they are evil.


  1. You have a wonderfully inventive imagination which gives richness to your stories!

  2. Thanks Elf. I wish my writing gave more credit to the tales. I do pride myself on my imagination. Some would call it day dreaming and frown on it. It takes me away from my work life - escapism is a great way to unwind.